[Israel.pm] Is there a lack of (good) Perl programmers?

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Wed Feb 28 11:44:24 PST 2007

On Wednesday 28 February 2007, Levenglick Dov-RM07994 wrote:
> Perl is, by nature and definition, a scripting language. As a result, I
> fail to see why anyone would consider using it for large projects when a
> compiled language would run that much faster.

Hi Dov!

The term "scripting language" when applied to Perl, Python, Ruby and friends 
is anachronistic and misleading. While one can easily write scripts using 
these languages, one can also write large-scale applications using them. In 
fact, their dynamic nature that makes them great for scripts, also make 
writing serious code that actually does something in them, much easier to 
write quickly, as well.

Now, you said that people would prefer to use a compiled language (C or 
whatever) because it would run much faster. While it is true that the most 
optimised C code will beat the code of Perl/Python/Ruby hands down, often 
Perl will run fast enough so it won't matter that much. Well, not much that 
you'd like to invest the extra time, man power and other resources for 
writing and maintaining much more code in a lower-level language.

Some applications are even I/O bound where using Perl instead of C will not 
make much a difference. And if the need arises, you can implement some 
time-critical sections in C, while leaving most of the code in Perl.

Speed is not the only factor that matters in large-scale application, and it 
often has a low priority. Large-scale applications are being written in 
Perl/Python/PHP/Ruby/etc. despite the fact that they are slower than C. 

So this argument does not hold water.


	Shlomi Fish

P.S.: according to http://www.paulgraham.com/popular.html :

Let's start by acknowledging one external factor that does affect the 
popularity of a programming language. To become popular, a programming 
language has to be the scripting language of a popular system. Fortran and 
Cobol were the scripting languages of early IBM mainframes. C was the 
scripting language of Unix, and so, later, was Perl. Tcl is the scripting 
language of Tk. Java and Javascript are intended to be the scripting 
languages of web browsers.

So C, COBOL and Fortran were once scripting languages.

> Best Regards,
> Dov Levenglick
> DSP SoC System and Applications Engineer,
> Network and Computing Systems Group
> Freescale Semiconductor Israel
> Tel. +972-9-952-2804
> The information contained in this email is classified as:
> [ ] Freescale General Business Information
> [ ] Freescale Internal Use Only
> [ ] Freescale Confidential Proprietary
> [x] Personal Memorandum
> -----Original Message-----
> From: perl-bounces at perl.org.il [mailto:perl-bounces at perl.org.il] On
> Behalf Of Gabor Szabo
> Sent: Wednesday, February 28, 2007 16:09
> To: Perl in Israel
> Subject: [Israel.pm] Is there a lack of (good) Perl programmers?
> I have heard it from many sources and my recent search brought up only
> very few people
> so now I wonder if that's true and if there is anything we can do about
> it?
> I have heard claims that one of the problems is that Perl isn't a
> carrier option:
> If you learn C, Java or .NET you have plenty of places to go, plenty
> of opportunities.
> On the other hand you cant go to many places and use Perl for advanced
> stuff.
> I personally hardly know any companies where Perl is used for large
> things but even
> some of those want to switch. Partially because they don't find good
> Perl
> programmers.
> What do you think?
> Gabor
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Shlomi Fish      shlomif at iglu.org.il
Homepage:        http://www.shlomifish.org/

Chuck Norris wrote a complete Perl 6 implementation in a day but then
destroyed all evidence with his bare hands, so no one will know his secrets.

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